When most of us head to the vending machine to snag a cold beverage, it’s usually with a water or a soda in mind. As much as we enjoy a nice cold glass of milk, it’s not something that we would ever expect to get from a machine, but that’s all about to change, at least in the heart of the English countryside. Got Milk? Vending Machines Do.
Local farmer Adam Fleming has been in the dairy industry all his life and has grown tired of the way in which major supermarkets have been handling his beloved white liquid. Mr. Fleming’s main concern is the way in which supermarkets seem happy to sell milk at ridiculously low prices, which he believes makes the whole business completely unprofitable for dairy farmers. There seems to be some truth to his theory, especially when you look at the number of dairies that have shut up shop in recent years.
Rather than allow Nell’s Dairy, which operates on his land, to meet the same fate as many that have gone before, Fleming decided to follow the lead of dairy farmers in Europe who offer their product directly to the customer, totally bypassing the supermarket route.
The milk vending machine at Nell’s Dairy operates much in the same way that water stations work in supermarkets. Customers bring their own containers, or purchase one from the vendor, and them simply reuse them whenever they need a refill. The dairy sells liter glass bottles for £1 each, which they can then fill with milk for a further £2.
You might wonder why anyone would think about paying more for a bottle of milk than they would at their local supermarket, but Fleming says it’s what’s inside that makes all the difference. By all accounts the milk that comes from the vending machine is brimming with creamy goodness, not to mention a healthy helping of Omega 3′s. With more and more shoppers jumping on the healthy bandwagon, there is a chance that this type of milk delivery could really take off.
Fleming has no plans for world domination just yet though, especially since the farm only has a grand total of 8 cows from which to pull the milk. He does foresee his little venture moving from Eyford Hill Farm in the Cotswolds and moving into some of the bigger towns in the surrounding area. Fleming’s real hope though is that other dairy farms across Britain will look at what is happening in his little part of the world and follow his lead.
Only time will tell if customers are willing to pay more for a little extra flavor in their milk, but you have to admire someone who is willing to take that leap of faith. Perhaps the day will come when we can grab a soda from a Coke vending machine before heading to the next machine and picking up a healthy bottle of milk.